Two men armed with knives and a screw-driver broke into a home in Park Road, Umtentweni during the early hours of Thursday, 8 February 2018.
Neil and Lynn-Dee van Eeden and their 17-year-old son, Josh were sleeping when the men quietly cut the burglar bars with bolt-cutters and climbed through the lounge window into the house and proceeded to make their way down the passage and into Neil’s bedroom.
Neil woke-up with the two men, wearing hats, in his bedroom, telling him to ‘keep cool’. One of the men had one of Neil’s socks wrapped around his face.
When the family’s Boerboel come through to the bedroom, the intruders attempted to stab the dog.
A calm Neil asked the men if he could put the dog in his bedroom. They agreed and made their way to Joshua’s room where they helped themselves to his laptop and cellphone.
They demanded money and asked Neil for a bag.
When the men realised they had taken only one of a pair of takkies, they insisted that Neil retrieve the other from the bedroom.
Deciding enough was enough, Neil went back into his bedroom, closed the door to keep the dogs inside, and took his gun from the safe.
When the intruder saw the gun, he went for me and that’s when I shot him. This is what worried me – if they couldn’t find money what would they have done, tied us up and slit our throats? – Neil.
Neil said the injured man stumbled back and fell into Josh’s room, where he lay for a while.
The other man, who was busy filling the bag with laptops, clothes and other household goods, abandoned the bag, opened the sliding door in the lounge and fled.
By this time, Lynn-Dee had emerged from her bedroom to see the wounded man stumbling down the passage, shouting ‘please don’t shoot me, please don’t shoot me…’
“Out of sheer fright, Josh and I grabbed coffee cups and threw them at him,” said Lynn-Dee.
Lynn-Dee phoned her level-headed friend Sally Heaver for help, just before 3 am.
Sally in turn quickly contacted the police and posted a message on a local WhatsApp group saying the family needed help.
Police spokesman, Vincent Pandarum said the wounded man had managed to run a few hundred metres before collapsing and dying.
Reflecting on the ordeal, Lynn-Dee said the men were starting to get aggressive as things weren’t going as planned – suddenly there were dogs, no money, not everyone in the same room and it was taking longer than anticipated.
Josh hadn’t seen his mother during this ordeal and was worried that she had been targeted.
“It could have been so much worse,” added Josh.
Capt Pandarum said a case of house robbery would be investigated, and an inquest docket opened in relation to the death of the suspect.
No arrests have been made at this stage.
South Coast Herald